Friday, September 16th, 2011

MAC Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Fall Colour: Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is one of two quads from the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationall in October. Angel Flame includes these shades: Chamomile (creamy pale yellow), Angel Flame (coral that flashes pink/yellow), Feather Pink (mid-tone pink), and Gravel (blue-grey).

  • Chamomile is a soft yellowed white-beige with a satin finish. It has a less frosted finish compared to MAC Short Shorts and is also a touch less yellow. Urban Decay Zephyr is whiter and more frosted. Inglot #395 is a touch more orange and metallic in finish. The texture is lovely–very soft and smooth while delivering excellent color payoff.
  • Angel Flame is a softened peachy-orange with golden peach shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish. It’s like a slightly softer version of MAC Melon Pigment. Inglot #407 is much more intense. It’s also similar to Make Up For Ever #153. It’s pinker than MAC Flip. It’s a tiny bit powdery and sheered out but overall pretty good in texture and payoff.
  • Feather Pink is a cool-toned, blue-based cotton candy pink with a satin finish. Inglot #319 is the closest dupe I could think of, though it is lighter. I want to say it is similar to MAC Push-up Pink, which is very, very old (2004).
  • Gravel is a blue-tinted gray-black with a matte finish. It was a litte dry and sheer when swatched, but it applied beautifully on the lid, as many MAC matte eyeshadows often do. Inglot #376 is a bit similar but almost looks a touch purple.

The whole time I was photographing this, I felt like it looked familiar. It is reminiscent of the overall color scheme of the Fafi Eyes 2 Eyeshadow Quad, though I wouldn’t say they’re dupes but there are a few similarities (pale highlight, medium pink, bluish-gray-black). It also bears some similarity to MAC A Rose is a Rose Eyeshadow Quad; sort of like a frostier, slightly darker variation on it.

I like the quad overall, and honestly, after the past few palettes I’ve seen from MAC launches, I’m also relieved: the quality is much better here than it has been recently. It’s a solid quad overall with good quality and an interesting mix of colors.

The Glossover

palette

Angel Flame

A-
I like the quad overall, and honestly, after the past few palettes I've seen from MAC launches, I'm also relieved: the quality is much better here than it has been recently. It's a solid quad overall with good quality and an interesting mix of colors.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). The palette contains a hefty amount of product; an eyeshadow quad retails for the same amount but contains 0.20 oz. on average.

After testing this palette, I just can’t say the quality is there. It’s the design that will sell this product; it’s more for collectors than it is for someone who is after quality eyeshadow. There are six different shades (tan, beige, periwinkle, orange, turquoise, and pink) but I was only really able to grab distinct swatches of five (the beige was difficult to get individually and then to get to show up was another story!).

The tan shade is a gold shimmered orange-tan that applies very sheerly and not as smoothly as I would like (or expect). One of the better performing shades was the periwinkle shade which is more purple than periwinkle, but it depends on the lighting; it reminded me a fair amount of Digit. Despite the appearance of intensity in the palette, the turquoise shade is incredibly sheer with a slightly roughened texture (it’s not rough or gritty, but it’s not smooth); it’s like the palest teal with silvery shimmer. The orange shade was better, as it was much more pigmented but was dusty; it’s a slightly muted orange with a subtle satiny sheen. The pink shade worked the best, as it applied smoothly and with good color payoff; it’s a yellow-toned light-medium pink with a near metallic finish. There is also a beige shade that disappears against my skin and suffers from sheerness and some powderiness.

Undeterred, I wore this on my eyes (it’s what I wore in several of the photos for the Posh Paradise Mattene lip swatches), and the fall out was incredible. I went with something short and sweet, so I used the purply-periwinkle shade on the lid with the turquoise shade in the crease. The texture is rather dry and doesn’t work well on its own (I figured I’d test it with a base on one eye, without on the other). Even with a base, I had a ton of glittery fall out and really had to pack on the color to get decent color payoff and evenness in color. I tried twice with a base – once with NARS Eyeshadow Primer Potion and the second time with MAC Nubile Paint Pot (using the pink, tan, and orange shades). The second combination had less fall out (but the shades had less shimmer) but took a fair amount of color-packing to get the vibrancy in the palette.

It’s a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone. The good news is all of the colors go through to the bottom based on digging around each shade to see how deep it went. The only part that is an overlay is the silvered shimmer-sheen that goes across the middle.  You just can’t have problems with wear (fall out, minor fading, unevenness), pigmentation, and texture and come out on top.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette Swatches, Photos, Reviews

F
It's a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Fly Me to the Moon Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild Fly Me to the Moon Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Fly Me to the Moon Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Fly Me to the Moon Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a cool-toned mix of white, black, and blue. It’s a shame that this trio ended up being poor performing all around, because I think the color combination is beautiful and could have worked so well together.

The Browbone shade is sheer, frosted cool-toned white. This has a very chunky texture–the shimmer feels like it is in pieces, so it results in fall out when applied to the lid. The color itself is also sheer. It’s a cooler-toned white than theBalm Tempting Tara.

The Crease shade is a mostly matte black with silver sparkle. It’s sheer, chalky, and very dry. The application is poor, because it is difficult to blend out. It’s an inferior version of NARS Night Breed.

The Eyelid shade is a medium-dark navy blue. It is dry and sheer, and the funniest part is that the texture and poor color payoff make it look like a different color than the pan. I did a double-take when I was comparing swatches and photos–I actually re-swatched, and it really is as unmatched as it seemed.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Fly Me to the Moon Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

D
Even for $2.99, I would still pass on this. Wet 'n' Wild does better eyeshadow than this--poor color payoff is one thing, just as drier textures is another, but taken together, it makes for a rather frustrating pairing.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette
Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) includes shades of silver, teal, navy blue, and black. Three of the shades have shimmery finishes, while one shade has a matte finish and can be used also as an eyeliner. It’s a limited edition palette from Guerlain’s holiday collection.

The first shade (on the left) is a silvered pewter with a hint of gray. It has a shimmery finish and a sheerness to it that makes it seem partially like a layering shade. The only possible dupe I could think of was MAC Vex, which can look similar… or very, very different, given its duochrome finish. In the middle towards the top, there’s a bluish-teal with a frosted finish.

It has good color payoff, but the shade is rather muted by nature (even in the pan, it is not an in-your-face kind of teal!). Urban Decay’s Aquarius seemed similar but is less blue.

Underneath the teal shade is a navy blue with a blackened-blue base and a hint of purple. The color payoff is nice with a really soft, smooth application. It is reminiscent of Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here and Make Up For Ever #81.

The final shade is a dark black with brown tone (as compared to a blue tone) in a matte finish. I honestly was expecting this shade to swatch challky and unevenly, particularly because the texture wasn’t very buttery–it was very soft and silky, but not dense and buttery. It’s rich in color and very easy to blend. It is similar to Make Up For Ever #4.

I like it, but I’m not head-over-heels in love with it. The color combination works, and it’s a lovely cool-toned, almost midnight kind of mix. It’s smoky eyes with a touch of color but not a punch. The textures here are soft and silky-smooth and wear well all on their own. The look I posted yesterday was created and worn without an eyeshadow primer or base, and I had no issues over the twelve hours I wore it.

The Glossover

palette

Les Ombres de Nuit

A-
I like it, but I'm not head-over-heels in love with it. The color combination works, and it's a lovely cool-toned, almost midnight kind of mix. It's smoky eyes with a touch of color but not a punch

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, September 4th, 2011


Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit ($39.00) is a limited edition set that features four eyeshadows, one lipgloss, and one travel-sized brush. It will be available at ULTA and select Macy’s in-store and online at ulta.com and urbandecay.com. The four eyeshadows included are: Midnight Cowboy (champagne with silver glitter), Midnight Rodeo (brown pearl with silver glitter), Midnight 15 (pearly oyster with silver glitter), and AC/DC (smoky grey/purple with shimmer).

It is all housed in a champagne-colored pleather case with a zipper enclosure wrapped around it. It’s fairly heavy (feels heavier than it looks) and definitely sturdy–it’s not easily crushed by any means–but the heft of it is not something I’d want to stash in my bag.  The overall size is nice, and I’m sure some will have no problem stashing it in their bag.

  • Midnight Cowboy is a pale champagne pink with a frosted finish and chunky silver sparkle. The underlying base color has good color payoff, but the sparkles cause major fall out. I wish I knew of a dupe for the color, but the only thing I could think of was Safe Bet Annette which is still a bit pinker.
  • Midnight Rodeo is a sparkly taupe brown. It does have glitter, but it’s subtle and doesn’t seem as large as Urban Decay’s other glitter-finished eyeshadows but may still have some fall out. The color payoff is good, and the texture is fairly smooth. I thought Urban Decay Toasted might be similar, but it’s not–much browner, less of a taupe. theBalm Insane Jane is grayer (more cool-toned), while Inglot #402 is nearly indistinguishable from Midnight Rodeo. This shade is a repromote from the 15th Anniversary Palette and BoS 4.
  • Midnight 15 is a soft champagne with a hint of gray and frosted finish. There is a subtle amount of glitter which has a touch of fall out. Initially, I thought it might be similar to Urban Decay Virgin, but it’s grayer–looks taupe in comparison. It’s a little darker compared to the beige in Chanel Prelude and less yellow compared to Urban Decay Ruthless (this is the closest).
  • AC/DC is a smoky purple with a very subtle red undertone; it’s more of a neutral purple. It was in the BoS 2. Am I the only one who expected to see another Midnight-themed shadow here? Don’t get me wrong–I’m so glad at least one shade isn’t fall out city. Urban Decay Gravity is a little purpler but similar. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is a touch darker. Bare Escentuals Encore has a stronger red undertone.
  • Midnight Cowboy Lip Junkie is a sheer champagne-tinted gloss with lots of champagne shimmer. It’s mint-scented and virtually colorless on the lips but imparts shine and shimmer. You can check out my full review of the formula in my original review.

Each eyeshadow is 0.04 oz., which is just shy of full-size (0.05 oz.), while the gloss is full-sized (0.34 fl. oz.)–plus the travel-sized Shadow brush ($26 for the full-sized version).  The value is at least $73.40 (the value of the eyeshadows and gloss) but likely closer to $85 or so because of the brush.

Urban Decay’s eyeshadows with “sparkle” are problem children.  Sometimes they’re sweet and you can get them behave, but most often, they’re unruly, frustrating, and wreak havoc upon your eye/face because of the glittery fall out.  Of the three sparkly shades here, Midnight Cowboy is the worst offender.  The other two are lesser offenders but still have some issues with fall out.

My advice for working with eyeshadows prone to fall out is to use a stiffer brush and pat on, rather than sweep.  You might also want to lightly tap the brush against your forearm after you’ve picked up the eyeshadow to loosen any excess product (and glitter).  It’s best to apply eye makeup first in this instance, so you can easily remove any residual fall out without removing foundation and the like.  A stickier base (mixing mediums, sealers, etc.) can also help the glitter to adhere rather than to fall away or generally disappear.  I just don’t think you should have to work that hard.  I’m also surprised that–given how much Urban Decay enjoys themselves glitter eyeshadow–they haven’t come out with their own adhesive base/sealer.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Midnight Emergency Kit

C+
There is a lot of fall out, and three of the five color products in this kit require some trial and error to find a method that works. Unless you're using an adhesive base, there is glitter fall out both during application as well as throughout the day. The packaging seems heavy for how little is inside it, so it's not as purse-friendly as it seems.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) is a limited edition, Sephora-exclusive eyeshadow palette for the holidays. It comes in a metal tin with a hinged lid with ten eyeshadows and a travel-sized eyeshadow brush. These are the shades included: Rockstar (deep eggplant with metallic base), Gunmetal (gunmetal grey with silver glitter), Skimp (pale nude with gold shimmer), Infamous (shifty mauve), Wreckage (shimmery dark taupe), Haight (shimmering mermaid blue), Money (silvery pale green), Mushroom (shimmering fawn), Spotlight (medium taupe with gold sparkle), and Limelight (bronze with gold glitter). New shades include Infamous, Limelight, Spotlight, and Wreckage. All other shades are repromotes.

The exterior of the palette is nice; it’s a good size, too–small enough to travel with but large enough to be easy to use with regular, full-sized brushes. There is no mirror in this palette, which is unusual for Urban Decay’s palettes. It’s not as slim as their six-pan palettes (like Dangerous, Feminine, etc.), but it is significantly smaller than the Book of Shadows volumes. It stays shut quite well, as the lid is kept on by hinges. The brushed metal finish of the tin hides fingerprints well. I don’t love the interior; it’s cardboard that shifts around a bit when you’ve plunk a brush into one of the eyeshadow wells. It just feels a little… cheap to me, and I generally don’t have issues with cardboard-based packaging so long as it feels sturdy.

  • Rockstar is a smoky eggplant purple with very subtle red undertones; it’s not a fully neutral purple, but it’s close. Giorgio Armani #3 is darker, less purple. theBalm All the Way Annie and Make Up For Ever #142 are similar but neither has the blackened base. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is closer but not quite as red-toned.
  • Gunmetal is a dark charcoal gray with silver glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range. If you feel like you’ve just seen this shade, it’s true–it’s also in the BoS 4. It is similar to Inglot #451 but a bit darker.  Because it does have glitter, it may have some fall out (I have found it less so than some of the really glittery shades).
  • Skimp is a beige-peach with a pearled sheen. It, too, was most recently in the BoS 4. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Serendipitous but lighter than MAC Brule. The quality seemed better here–it didn’t feel dry at all.
  • Infamous is a bright, plum-tinged fuchsia pink with a satiny sheen. This had a slightly drier texture than a lot of the other shades in the palette but the color payoff was still decent. It isn’t the same as Urban Decay Woodstock, which is much redder, brighter, and deeper. This is more like Woodstock and Fishnet got together and had baby. It is closer to Make Up For Ever #52 but muted and slightly purpler.
  • Wreckage is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle yellow undertones and a subtle golden sheen. The color payoff was decent but not as dense as most Urban Decay eyeshadows. It is very similar in color to Bare Escentuals A-Ha. It is reminiscent of Urban Decay Toasted but not as warm.
  • Haight is a teal-tinged, medium-dark blue with a frosted finish. This shade is part of the permanent range, but it is a little duller than my individual pot of it. It will take on a more of a teal appearance when near greens. I can’t think of a great dupe for Haight.
  • Money is a silvery green-gray with a cool-toned gold sheen. It’s a really cool, complex color. It does have silver sparkles in it, so there may be some fall out. I find Money has less sparkle than really glittery shades like Midnight Cowboy, though. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade either.
  • Mushroom is a dark taupe–a little silvery, brown, and gray. It is a little less brown compard to Giorgio Armani #4 and grayer compared to theBalm Come Hither Heather.
  • Spotlight is a pale champagne-bronze with gold glitter and a rather chunky texture. This was the worst shade in the palette–it was dry and chunky, not just from the glitter, but the powder itself didn’t adhere smoothly. It resulted in poorer color payoff and lots of fall out. Bare Escentuals Magnetism is a touch darker (and doesn’t have glitter).
  • Limelight is a lightened coppery bronze with a warm golden shimmer and glitter. It’s more orange than Urban Decay Blunt but not by much. It’s a lighter version of Urban Decay Half-Baked. Funny enough, some of the lightness of the shade is due to the drier texture and uneven color payoff (which is decent but not great). I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Limelight, just not to the same degree.

Long-time collectors and fans will find this palette with too many repromotes/similarly done shades. I think Urban Decay might want to cut back on creating more browns/bronzes, because they’re starting to run together. I don’t want more Half-Baked eyeshadows, but if you’re going to just make one-offs of it, I’d rather the original so I know I’m not getting anything new. They could consider doing more browns, even in the same tones and shades, but with different finishes–like satins or mattes.

I had major issues with Spotlight and Limelight and minor issues with Infamous. I would say that two of the ten eyeshadows were misses, but the other eight were varying degrees of good to great. Like other Urban Decay palettes, though, it’s a good deal–it has $102 worth of eyeshadows, plus a travel-sized version of the shadow brush ($26), so I’d approximate the value of the whole shabang for around $120.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Mariposa

B+
The total value of the palette makes it a good buy, and as always with a palette, a lot of whether it's something that strikes your fancy or not will depend on how large your stash is (and how many Urban Decay palettes you may already own).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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